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Magnesium & Lean Body Mass

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I just received an interesting article by email. Since there is no way to link to it, I'll post it here:

Magnesium is an essential mineral abundant in spinach, dark green leafy vegetables, apples, bananas, whole grains, soybeans, nuts, dairy products and seafood. It is responsible for regulating basic physiological functions from ATP production, to protein synthesis and in facilitation of the relaxation phase of muscle contraction. Magnesium also plays a major role in the regulation of calcium and potassium essential to optimal bone and muscle health.
A recent study suggests that low serum magnesium may in part cause lean body mass atrophy with age. Researchers at the University of Palermo in Italy measured serum magnesium concentration in 1,138 older adults and drew comparisons with measures of strength that correlate well with function. Participants included men and women with an average age of 67.
The results indicated that individuals with higher magnesium levels also possessed a stronger handgrip, more power in their lower leg muscles, and were able to extend their knees and ankles with more force.
It’s estimated that up to 68% of American adults get less than the recommended daily allowance of magnesium (300-400mg). Some experts postulate that optimal magnesium intake may be as high as 1200mg/day in some individuals as stress, exercise and chronically poor nutrition can impact serum magnesium levels. Older adults are at particularly high risk for magnesium deficiency.
The positive correlation of lean body mass with functional capacity in older adults may indicate the need for intervention. However, more research is necessary to determine whether magnesium supplementation actually boosts performance in this population.
Dominquez LJ, et al. (2006) Magnesium and Muscle Performance in Older Adults. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 419-426.
post #2 of 13
So the conclusion is perhaps...

1. Eat a diet that includes a varianty of natural healthy foods. Best.
2. Take a multi vitamin. 2nd best.
3. Both 1 and 2. Cover all the bases.

I always wonder whether the cause and effect is fully worked out in preliminary research like this. Does lack of Mg cause lower muscle mass or does being generally less healthy cause both lower Mg and lower muscle.
Either way, probably all most people can do is stick with 1, 2, or 3. I cover my @$$ with 3 during ski season and try for 1 the rest of the year.

Thanx for the article.
post #3 of 13
ah thanks LM

that sort of matches with the problems i had with magnesium levels after i got chronic fatigue.... and the constant loss of grip strength during bad patches was obviuous... (lets not talk about the holes that kept appearing in my leg muscles)
post #4 of 13


multivits only have about 100mg. even supplements are only 250mg. FDA mdr is 400 mg. and no one is eating their spinach now...............
post #5 of 13

Good point, d_w

Made me look up the SportLegs label:

Sure'nuff, not enuff.

Then I went and checked a dairy product:

25%Ca/20%P/6%Mg seems a bit skewed (admittedly, no bioavailability data is present).
post #6 of 13
maybe Victor Conte was on to something with that ZMA crap? interesting!
post #7 of 13
Yes I got something like this also - sounds interesting.

There are heart bennies too to Mg intake - sounds like a good supplement to keep an eye on in your diet.
post #8 of 13
Interesting topic, I have a really bad back and used to have 3-5 fatal conditions each year where I could not move for two weeks. Heared on the radio of older people getting rid of back pain through magnesium tablets and desided to try it our. GREAT STUFF I TELL YOU . Since then, 1year now, I have not had any fatal conditions like before (knock on wood). Now my back only hurts a bit and gets stiff but the muscles doesent cramp and Im able to get my back fixed in time.
post #9 of 13
tdk6: fatal? You only die twice
post #10 of 13

Jim Cramer would say ...

Buy Mg stocks!
post #11 of 13
IIRC, some recent studies of cyclists showed that magnesium deficiencies were causing osteoporesis issues (although I may have collapsed, in my mind, different studies of calcium and magnesium): magnesium, along with other electrolytes, is lost through perspiration by athletes, and it's especially bad for cyclists, who get a double whammy: They do an endurance sport that's not weight-bearing in a way that would improve bone density.

For really active people, I think the current recommendation is to get supplemental calcium and magnesium. (When I remember, I take a calcium/magnesium/zinc supplement.)

post #12 of 13
When I was on high-protein, I had to supplement minerals (especially potassium and magnesium) as my muscles would cramp, flicker and buzz. Even now I'm back on normal food (and fat!), I get a bit of this sometimes. What fixes it for me is getting a multi-mineral.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
SF Dean, that is a great link! The good news about skiing is that as a weight bearing activity, it can actually prevent osteoporosis.
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